Petit breaks through in win column
Starter locks down powerful Phils; Upton, Snyder homer
PHOENIX -- D-backs manager A.J. Hinch did not even wait for the question following a 4-0 win over the Phillies on Wednesday night.
"Petit will be making his next start," Hinch said.
Better believe he will.
All right-hander Yusmeiro Petit did on Wednesday was limit the National League's top offense to two hits over six innings for his first win of the season, before tiring in the seventh.
"He was as effective and as efficient as I've ever seen him," Hinch said. "He had a really good changeup, he mixed up his location. To get the swings and misses out of that order showed how much command and stuff he had tonight."
There's no getting around the fact that Petit has struggled mightily at times this year. Coming into the game, his ERA was 7.68 and it seemed like after each of his starts Hinch was forced to answer whether Petit would get another chance.
"It made me feel good to have a good outing today," Petit said through interpreter Miguel Montero. "I felt a little pressure because the last couple of starts I haven't gotten the job done. I just tried to go pitch-by-pitch, at-bat-by-at-bat and hitter-by-hitter. I'm going to keep competing like this."
Petit lacks overpowering stuff, so to have a performance such as Wednesday's he must hit his spots, move the ball around and by all means keep it out of the middle of the zone.
That's exactly what he did and it had the Philadelphia hitters taking awkward swings throughout. Petit (1-5) matched his career high with eight strikeouts.
"He's good when he's down in the zone and on the corners, and that's what he was all night," catcher Chris Snyder said. "That's probably one of the better games I've seen from him."
Justin Upton gave Petit a cushion to work with when he smacked a two-run homer in the first off J.A. Happ (7-2). It turned out to be the start of a 3-for-4 night for Upton, who added another RBI later in the game and now has a seven-game hitting streak.
"When he gets a hit in his first at-bat and has a quality at-bat, he tends to build off of that," Hinch said. "When he gets hot, he gets hot and obviously I hope it continues on the road."
Petit allowed leadoff singles in the first and second innings and issued his lone free pass with two outs in the second to No. 8 hitter Carlos Ruiz. From that point until the start of the seventh, Petit retired 13 straight batters.
That prompted Hinch to leave him in to start the seventh, but after a leadoff single by Ryan Howard and a double by Raul Ibanez, Hinch brought in Juan Gutierrez.
The hard-throwing right-hander struck out Jayson Werth and Greg Dobbs and, after a walk to Ruiz, got pinch-hitter Pedro Feliz to fly to center to keep the D-backs ahead, 2-0.
"Everybody came in and stepped up and did their part," Snyder said.
Snyder helped pad the lead with a homer to lead off the seventh and the D-backs added another run in the eighth when Upton singled home Gerardo Parra, who hit a double off the top of the right-field wall to start the inning.
First-base umpire Mike Muchlinski ruled that Parra's ball had hit off the top of the wall, bounced straight up and came back down in the field of play. Hinch went out and asked the umpires to gather and talk things over. The crew decided to utilize the video review rule.
After looking at the replay, the umpires stuck with their call and Hinch admitted after seeing the replay that they made the correct decision.
"Parra hit the daylights out of that ball so I just wanted them to convene and go look at it," Hinch said. "They did the right thing. They went and looked and he made the right call originally."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.